Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The mecha landed, was retrieved, and Lan Yu heard Lu RanKong’s voice over the intercom, “Everyone take a quick head count and see if there are any casualties.”
“One soldier from the first battalion was wounded, four mecha were destroyed, and there were no fatalities.” Lin Zhu was the first to finish the count.
“The fourth battalion lost three mecha, two soldiers were wounded, no fatalities.” Chen YuTan’s voice.
Lan Yu, after listening to the statistics of several squad leaders, also said, “Second battalion two destroyed mecha, one wounded, no deaths.”
“All go back to the dormitory area first to heal the wounded.”
When everyone had gone back to their quarters, the four battalion commanders followed at the end and walked back.
Chen YuTan sighed and said, “I thought there was no interstellar beast and the military department was wrong, but there really is.”
“Those were hawk-thorned beasts, right? Why did they come to Veya Planet?” Asked Lin Zhu curiously.
Lu RanKong pondered and said, “This kind of hawk-thorned beast lives on Veya Planet, which is only a few hundred thousand kilometers away from here. Although the servant birds have no fighting ability, they have a special ability to create miniature short-distance leap points, and they cooperate with each other, hunting interstellar beasts on the surrounding small planets, which are supposed to go elsewhere and stop by the Veya Planet.”
“So will they leave? And if they don’t, do we have to stay and chase them away?” Lin Zhu asked.
Lu RanKong said, “If they don’t leave, we’ll have to stay, because there’s a leap station here, so we can’t be careless.”
Lan Yu looked around while listening to them, and when he looked in a certain direction, he suddenly stopped and said, “We’ll be able to leave tomorrow.”
“Hm, why?” Lu RanKong followed his line of sight and also said, “We can leave tomorrow, and the hawk-thorned beasts will go back to their planet.”
Not too far ahead, a large flock of servant birds were flying high into the sky, carrying the Horned Beast.
When they reached a certain height, all the birds gathered together and began to emit a white light. And in front of them, a small black hole gradually appeared. Then, the servant birds took turns to fly in, and when the last one also entered, the black hole disappeared.
Several people stopped to look at the place until there was nothing in the night sky, and then they walked towards the dormitory.
Lu RanKong said, “I’ll ask the military department to confirm, and if they’re all gone, we’ll return at dawn.”
Lin Zhu and Chen YuTan nodded, and Lan Yu secretly breathed a sigh of relief.
Back in the dormitory area, the four went to see the few injured people first, and lectured the two soldiers who had fired in panic at the beginning. The good thing was that the military medical equipment carried were the most advanced instruments available, and the injuries of the wounded were already healing.
The military soon returned the message that the interstellar beast had left Veya Planet and the planet was now safe.
“Hang in there, don’t slack off! Continue to take turns on guard duty, we’ll return at dawn.” Lu RanKong arranged the soldiers and went back to that hut with Lan Yu.
Lu RanKong got into his sleeping bag, pulled open the mouth and called Lan Yu, “Come in, it’s warm inside.”
“No, I’ll sleep in my own.” Lan Yu refused his invitation and went into the sleeping bag next to him.
“What’s wrong? Didn’t you say at first that you wanted to sleep with me and be warm?”
Lan Yu rolled over and turned his back to him, “Warm is warm, but you don’t let people sleep well.”
Lu RanKong let out a laugh, peeked over his upper body to look at his face, and said, “I’ll just hold you still.”
Lan Yu thought for a moment, turned his head and asked, “Do you promise?”
Lan Yu quickly got out of his sleeping bag and slipped into Lu RanKong’s arms.
Lu RanKong was true to his word, he just kissed him on the forehead and said in a warm voice, “Go to sleep and recover your spirit. I won’t disturb you.”
In the quiet, the lights slowly dimmed. Lan Yu yawned against Lu RanKong’s chest, and asked, “Those hawk-thorned beasts are also unlucky, they somehow got beaten up, and so many died.”
Lu RanKong said, “You don’t have to pity them. These interstellar beasts are the most cruel, love to wander among the interstellar, every planet would be plundered before they left it, they’re like a pack of hungry wolves. “
“Then they are unlucky to run into us, right?” Lan Yu asked. Not waiting for a reply, he looked up at Lu RanKong and found him staring at the ceiling in silence. “What’s wrong?”
Lu RanKong spoke slowly, with a hint of confusion in his voice. “In fact, I’m not sure why the hawk-thorned beasts came to Planet Veya, since there’s no prey for them to hunt on this planet.”
“Forget it, don’t think about it, it’s just their bad luck.” Lu RanKong closed his eyes and said, “Go to sleep, it’s getting late, we have to leave early tomorrow morning.”
Lan Yu also closed his eyes and said sleepily, “Sleep, sleep, it must be very late now.”
Lu RanKong was silent, “It’s seven o’clock at night.”
“What? It’s only seven o’clock at night?” Lan Yu opened his eyes in surprise.
“Yes, we went to bed at four o’clock, didn’t we?” Lu RanKong replied.
So it was only seven o’clock?
Usually at this time he hasn’t even had dinner yet.
Lan Yu suddenly didn’t feel sleepy any longer.
“Why aren’t you sleeping? Weren’t you still sleepy just now?” Lu RanKong saw that his eyes were suddenly in good spirits and couldn’t help but ask.
“It’s only seven o’clock, how can you make me sleep?”
“But didn’t you yawn when you didn’t know it was seven o’clock?”
“But I know now. Now that I know, how can you expect me to sleep?”
Lu RanKong pressed his head to his chest and said, “Listen to Brother Bao’s heartbeat. One jump is a lamb, count it, and you will fall asleep.”
Lan Yu really listened to his heartbeat quietly, and after listening for a while, Lu RanKong’s very light snoring sound came from above his head. He listened again for a while and gently pushed Lu RanKong, “BaoZi, I can’t sleep.”
Lu RanKong stopped snoring and asked sleepily, “Can’t you sleep even after counting my heartbeat?”
“I can’t sleep…”
Lu RanKong asked the sentence without replying, his breath became calm and long; apparently he fell asleep again in an instant.
Lan Yu opened his mouth and bit him on the shoulder, saying softly, “Who told you to tell me the time? Who told you to tell me it was only seven o’clock? Otherwise I would have fallen asleep.”
Lu RanKong was woken up again, laughed, but didn’t open his eyes, only raised his hand and gently patted him on the back. Lan Yu blinked his eyes and looked away, his vision gradually becoming hazy, and finally fell asleep slowly.
The next day, when Lan Yu woke up, he found that the person beside him was no longer there, and the sound of soldiers’ footsteps coming and going in the passage came from outside the door.
He had just gotten out of his sleeping bag when Lu RanKong pushed his way in and said, “I got word ten minutes ago that the hurricane is coming, and I just woke everyone up to get something to eat before we go.”
Lan Yu dragged over the backpack again, took out two supplements from it, handed the apple-flavored one to Lu RanKong, and said, “Here, a banana-flavored one.”
Lu RanKong took it, unscrewed the lid and drank it. He stretched out his finger and pointed at Lan Yu, saying, “Trying to cheat me again, it’s obviously watermelon.”
Just as Lan Yu was about to say something, he smiled and said, “Just kidding, it’s apple-flavored and tastes good.”
Lan Yu walked over to him, bumped him lightly with his forehead and smiled too.
The group set off in full gear for the Star Warship mooring, and because of the impending hurricane, everyone sped up their progress, and it didn’t take long to get to the canyon with the ice borers.
Lan Yu hesitantly paused, his scalp starting to tingle at the thought of the dense dark red spots, the bumpy feel underfoot, and the cracking sound of the ice when it was crushed.
Lu RanKong stood with him at the mouth of the valley, looking into the canyon, and asked in a low voice, “Do you think the hawk-thorned beasts are scary, or the ice worms are scary? The beast will hurt you, but the ice worm will not.”
Lan Yu was silent for a while and said, “I am willing to fight with the hawk-thorned beasts again.”
A soldier from the third battalion walked on and looked back. He just turned back around and couldn’t help but look back again.
“What are you looking at? Not walking properly…” The soldier behind him said.
The soldier said, “Nothing, I may have misread it.”
After a few steps he turned back and then rubbed his eyes.
“What the hell is wrong with you, why do you keep looking back?” The soldier behind him also turned his head to follow his line of sight, and then stopped talking.
“I didn’t see wrong, did I?”
The other soldiers also looked back curiously and murmured in shock.
“Why is Dad carrying black-hearted K?”
“Colonel K still has his head buried in his shoulder, is he not feeling well somewhere?”
“Since when were the two of them so close?”
Their chatter grew louder and louder, drawing the attention of the soldiers of the second battalion on the side. A junior captain was the first to notice the situation and hurriedly broke away from the group and ran to the back.
“Colonel K, are you not feeling well?” The squad leader panted and ran to Lu RanKong, standing in front of him.
Lu RanKong said, “He has some pain in his stomach, he will be fine after he goes through this canyon and uses the healing device.”
Lan Yu’s whole face was buried in Lu RanKong’s back, and he only shook his head, then nodded again without saying anything.
The young captain was relieved to see that he was still responding and looked at Lu RanKong warily again and said, “Thank you Colonel Lu, let me carry Colonel K next.”
“You just go back and take care of the soldiers, I’ll carry him.” Lu RanKong said.
The captain knew he had a problem with K. He was really uneasy and insisted, “Colonel Lu, let me do it.”
Lu RanKong stopped, sighed and said, “No really, K is my Alpha, do you think I can let you carry him?”
“W-what?” The young captain asked, somewhat bewildered.
Lan Yu at this point could no longer sulk, raised his head a little sharply and urged, “I don’t mind, you go watch the soldiers.”
The young captain obediently turned around and walked back, still thinking about Lu RanKong’s words. When he looked back, he saw Lu RanKong lower his head, nibble on the hand around his neck, and smile sideways as he said something to the man on his back.
The young captain walked forward with heavy footsteps, sleepwalking back to the group. The soldier next to him asked him how Colonel K was doing, and he just said no problem and looked straight ahead.
Lu RanKong propped up Lan Yu on his back and said, “Still satisfied? You didn’t say you were afraid of bugs in front of your soldiers.”
Lan Yu said, “I wasn’t afraid either, I just felt sick.” He tapped Lu RanKong on the shoulder and said, “Be gentle with your feet, don’t step on them so loudly.”
Now that they have entered the canyon, it was good that they had walked before, and now they were at the end of the group, the road had been almost trampled by the ice borer, so when Lu RanKong’s leather boots stepped on it, the sound was only a fine rustling.
“It’s not loud, it’s only loud when it’s crunching.” Lu RanKong said.
The words just fell, when he stepped on an intact one, and there was a muffled crunch.
Lan Yu’s face tingled and he said, “Watch your step.”
“When we get back, let’s wash our shoes under the dormitory building before we go upstairs.”
As he was talking, two more sounds were added.
Lu RanKong saw that Lan Yu was silent again and said, “I didn’t pay attention to the road when we were talking, now I don’t care if a meteorite falls from the sky, just focus on the road.”
Lan Yu buried his face on his back and suddenly said, “Look at those bugs, are they out of the ice?”
“The sound has changed…” Lan Yu said.
“Into what?” Lu RanKong asked, a little amused.
Lan Yu crawled towards him and said, “It’s like the sound of stepping on a live bug.”
After stepping on another bug, Lu RanKong stopped and bent down to look at the ice worms on the mountain wall. He was surprised to find that the worms had really changed, before they were wrapped in a layer of ice, like they were stuck in amber, but now the ice was gone and their whole body was exposed and stuck to the mountain wall.
Looking carefully, some worms seemed to be slightly wriggling.
“What do you see? Why aren’t we moving?” Lan Yu asked.
Lu RanKong watched for a few more seconds before muttering, “You’re probably right, these bugs are alive.”
“Let’s get out, let’s get out!” Lan Yu said sharply, “I told you these bugs sound like live bugs bursting!”
“Calm down, calm down, you’re stuck on my neck.” Lu RanKong coughed a few times.
Lan Yu continued to kick him in the leg, “Go! Get out!”
“Wait, wait, don’t panic. These bugs aren’t moving yet, they’ve only just awakened.”
“They will move soon, they will move soon, and they will take off!”
“They won’t fly, the ice worms only crawl.” Lu RanKong said comfortingly.
Lan Yu wasn’t at all comforted by these words, thinking about the bugs crawling everywhere, he could only feel his whole body tingling.
“No, no…” Lu RanKong straightened up and murmured, “This isn’t right…”
“Let’s go out first, we’ll think about it when we get out.” Lan Yu just wanted to get out of this canyon.
Lu RanKong didn’t comply with him this time, but just stood there and pondered. A few moments later, he suddenly said over the intercom, “Xiao Zhu, Yu Tan, you take the men to the Star Warship first, I have to go back to the leap station.”
Lin Zhu was puzzled and asked, “What are you doing back at the leap station? What did you forget?”
“Is there something wrong with the station?” Chen YuTan asked.
Lan Yu was still kicking Lu RanKong with his foot to go fast, listening to the conversation, he suddenly stopped moving.
“Nothing, just a little business to return for, will be back soon.”
“But the hurricane will be here soon.” Lin Zhu said anxiously, “You will meet the hurricane if you go back.”
“It’s still a while away, so we can run faster.” Lu RanKong said and turned off the intercom and other people’s connection channels. Lu RanKong said as he ran towards the front, “There’s only a small section of ice worms ahead, I’ll carry you out and you’ll go to the Star Warship by yourself.”
“What about- you- what about you?” Lan Yu was so turned upside down that he could barely speak.
“I have to go back to the leap station to see, I feel something is wrong.”
There was really only a short distance ahead, and Lu RanKong ran past him and put Lan Yu down on the ground, turned around and ran back, saying loudly, “Don’t delay, go wait for me on the Star Warship. I’ll check the situation and come back.”
He didn’t have time to say more words, just ran forward, raised his hand to look at the terminal . There was still more than half an hour before the arrival of the hurricane, so he was on time. After running out of the canyon, snowflakes were in the air, and thick dark clouds had built up in the sky, pressing very low and tumbling overhead. The outline of the icebergs in the sky couldn’t be seen, a blur at the extreme eye, where the wind had picked up.
Lu RanKong had just run out in the snow when he heard footsteps behind him. Before he had a chance to turn around, a figure passed by and a familiar voice rang out, “Why don’t you run faster?”
Lu RanKong’s spirit was lifted at the sound of this voice, first surprised and then worried, he accelerated his pace to catch up and asked loudly, “What are you doing here?”
Lan Yu said without turning his head, “I’m afraid of bugs…”
“Didn’t I already carry you past the bugs?” Lu RanKong wiped the snow flakes off his face with his hand and said, “The wind is going to pick up soon, it’s not safe. You should go back.”
“I’m not going back, I’m afraid of the bugs.” Lan Yu kept on his feet as he replied.
“So you’re not afraid of bugs if you come to my side again?” Lu RanKong asked.
Lan Yu didn’t make a sound, as Lu RanKong turned to the side to look at him, only to see that his face under the cold-helmet was a tad white, which made him suddenly heartbroken and annoyed.
“You’re obviously scared, but you’re still following me. Go back, if you don’t dare to go out of the canyon, wait for me at the mouth, where there’s no wind, I will carry you after checking the leap station.” He said.
“If I were to go to the leap station alone, what would you do?” Lan Yu asked.
Lu RanKong was speechless. He definitely wouldn’t let Lan Yu go to the leap station alone.
Lan Yu turned his head to look at him with seriousness and insistence in his eyes, “If I go to the leap station alone, you will definitely not feel comfortable and come along. So if you go alone, can I feel at ease?”
Lu RanKong could no longer speak, and after running in silence for a while, reached out to take his hand, which was shaken off by Lan Yu.
“You have to understand one thing, we were companions before, even if we became lovers, we are still companions.” Lan Yu said, “If you want to go alone in case of danger, it’s actually a slight to my ability.”
He finished and shut his mouth, his face tense.
Lu RanKong leapt over a small snow mound and said in a dark voice, “I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.”
“What did you say? I can’t hear you…” Lan Yu said deliberately.
“I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.” Lu RanKong shouted, extending his hand to him, “You’re not just my lover, but also my strongest and most dependable companion.”
Lan Yu reached his hand out this time.
“What have you found out? Tell me now…” Lan Yu said.
Lu RanKong ran side by side with him and said, “Remember I told you that these ice worms used to live underground, but the leap point to the primordial planet caused atmospheric changes and formed special substances, so they climbed to the surface? As a result, the leap point closed and the ice spines died before they could return to the underground.”
“Yes, you told me about that.”
“Actually they didn’t die, or it was a kind of self-protective fake death, and when the conditions were right, they would come back to life again.” Lu RanKong said.
Lan Yu asked as he ran, “By the right conditions, do you mean that the special substance is in the air again?”
“Yes…” Lu RanKong affirmed.
“What you mean is…”
Lu RanKong reached out and pulled Lan Yu to leap over a snow ditch and said in a deep voice, “I suspect that the leap point has been opened.”